ANC tries to ease tensions as Magaqa is remembered in his home village
ANC officials are working hard in Umzimkhulu to ensure no flare up in violence as the party prepares to lay murdered councillor Sindiso Magaqa to rest.
The former ANCYL secretary-general was gunned down in July and succumbed to his injuries in a Durban hospital on September 4. He became the tenth person to die in politically-motivated killings in KwaZulu-Natal since the beginning of the year‚ with half of them being from Umzimkhulu.
A memorial service was underway on Thursday afternoon in the southern KZN town‚ and his funeral is on Saturday.
But ANC KZN secretary Super Zuma said that the party had worked hard to deal with tensions‚ fearing further outbreaks of violence between various factors in the area.
"A team of provincial executive committee members were here in Umzimkhulu meeting with branches and discussing with branches in terms of tolerance and in terms of moving together for this memorial service and the funeral‚ so that we have a dignified funeral. Even yesterday [Wednesday] we met with the branches‚" he said.
Zuma said that the tensions that played out the day after Magaqa's death‚ which saw several provincial leaders turned away from the house by party members aligned to Magaqa‚ were being addressed.
"We started engaging politically. We are addressing those issues‚" he said.
Meanwhile‚ he confirmed that the party's provincial leadership would be speaking to police and to police minister Fikile Mbalula on Thursday after the memorial service for an update on the investigation into the murder.
"We'll be meeting with the minister… We are not in a position now to say if they are closer [to finding the killers]‚" he said.
Mbalula‚ who is set to address the memorial service‚ arrived at 11am in Ibisi‚ Magaqa's home village‚ in a police helicopter. He proceeded to Sindiso Magaqa's home just three kilometres away from the memorial service venue.
Mbalula met with family members‚ with media prevented from going inside. The group was later joined by Magaqa's widow‚ Gugu‚ and they inspected the bullet-riddled car Magaqa was in when he came under attack.
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